Showing posts with label Chickens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chickens. Show all posts

Monday, June 25, 2018

CHICKEN BANTAM - Smallest and Most Fun Chicken?

Silkie
Silkie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Chickens come in a variety of sizes. The average sized chicken found in most breeds, the huge chicken that can probably feed a home for two days, and then there's the small chicken bantam.

Bantams are naturally small. You can compare them to other small chickens in size, but these guys are special because they don't come any bigger. Bantam chickens will only get as big as twenty-two ounces.

So what's the big thing about these bantam chickens? They don't make for very good meat providers, and even if they produce a lot of eggs, the eggs are probably puny - not even enough to satisfy one person. What good are they?

Chicken bantams make for decent pets

Here's the thing; Bantams are small. Their small size and elaborate plumage put them in pretty much the same level as other pets. They strut around and look good without really doing anything, and people love them because they're cute.

Bantams are also good-natured creatures, which makes them safe for the kids.

Let's talk a little more on the plumage. Bantams usually do have really elaborate plumage. Sometimes, the feathers are so exquisite that bantams have become champions in chicken breeding competitions time and again.

Take the bantam breed called the Sultan. This chicken doesn't look at all like a chicken, thanks to the poofy pompadour head of hair it has that hides its wattle and comb. This little guy is the Elvis Presley of chickens, bantam or not.

Another curious chicken bantam breed is the Silkie. This bird has the curious distinction of looking like a cloud of cotton, having five toes (as opposed to the standard four), and black flesh with blue skin. It is a very docile animal that despite the sparse amount of meat it offers, is considered a gourmet delicacy in mainland China.



Bottom line is that bantam chickens may be small creatures, but these little guys have some of the most interesting breeds in the chicken kingdom. People who aren't interested in keeping chickens as livestock might be wise to consider getting a bantam instead. Or if you're a beginner who's just after the experience, bantams are easy to take care of.

    By Chad B.
    Chad B. is an advocate for backyard chicken care and has been involved in raising chickens since he was a little boy back in 1986.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Essential Tips To Building A CHICKEN COOP From Blueprints

English: Chicken coop and run by Oakdene Coops
Chicken coop and run by Oakdene Coops (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you've decided to build your chicken coop based off of a set of plans or blueprints, the three essentials you can't ignore prior to building are: creating an open and comfortable area for the chickens, providing a safe pen to house the chickens, and making sure there is plenty of light. The more comfortable your chickens, the happier, healthier, and more productive they'll be.

You'll want your chicken coop to also provide plenty of ventilation by allowing air to flow freely. Chicken poop and heat can make for an uncomfortable environment which may upset the flock. Hot days can also cause discomfort so you want to provide chickens with a means to cool down therefore shady areas are also essential. During the colder winter months, you also want the chickens to be able to warm up and remain comfortable.

Chickens, like most birds, love to perch. Look for plans that include some sort of perching areas. By providing designated perches, chickens will be less likely to perch in areas you want to keep them away from such as water and food locations. Chickens often poop wherever they're perched so you don't want perches anywhere near areas that should remain clean and disease free.

Nest boxes are also a must-have. You want your chickens to be able to find their spot to lay eggs comfortably and nests are perfect for this. They don't have to be fancy nests as you'll need to keep them clean on a regular basis but a designated area or box is ideal.



So, by understanding the basic essentials of what makes for a good chicken coop, you'll be in a better position to choose a well-designed blueprint. It doesn't have to be fancy as your chickens won't pass judgement on your tastes but your coop should provide all the comforts that make chickens relaxed, comfortable, safe, and secure.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

CHICKEN BREEDS - The Araucana Chicken

Aracuana Hahn cropped.jpg
Aracuana Rooster (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
The Araucana was initially developed in South America, specifically in Chile in the early 1900s by a professor of animal science. The Breed was developed from birds kept by a native Chilean tribe, the Mapuche. Later in the 1930s, the Araucana was introduced to the United Kingdom. The unique traits of the Araucana chicken come from cross breeding of the Collonca, a small single comb bird which lacks a tail and lays blue eggs, and a Quetero, which has a flowering tail, a pea comb and lays brown eggs.

When crossed with other breeds the Araucana offspring will lay blue eggs, this is where the development or the Ameraucana came from as the Araucana have a genetically lethal allele combination that results in the death of some chicks. The aim of developing the Ameraucana was to standardise the laying of a blue egg laying breed and to remove the genetic flaw.

Araucana Chicken Breed Facts

Class
Standard, All Other Standard Breeds.

Bantam, All Other Combs, Clean Legged.

Size
Standard Cock: 5 lb. (2.25 kg)

Standard Hen: 4 lb. (1.8 kg)

Bantam Cock: 26 oz. (740 g)

Bantam Hen: 24 oz. (680 g)

Comb, Wattles & Earlobes
Small pea comb; wattles are very small or absent; earlobes are very small and smooth and covered by an ear tuft. All are bright red.

Tail
Entirely absent; saddle feathers flow over the rump.

Colour
Black. Black beak, shanks, and toes; brown eyes; standard black plumage.
Black-Breast Red. Hornbeak; reddish bay eyes; greyish yellow shanks and toes. Male: Head, hackle, and saddle are reddish chestnut changing to gold at lower extremities. Front of neck and breast are lustrous black. Tail and wings are black with reddish bay highlights. Under colour is slate. Female: Head and hackle are reddish chestnuts against a cinnamon brown body. Tails and wings have some black. Under colour is slate to light cinnamon.
Blue. Standard blue plumage

Buff. Standard buff plumage.

Golden Duckwing. Hornbeak; red eyes; willow shanks and toes. Standard golden duckwing plumage.

Silver. Standard silver plumage.

Silver Duckwing. Hornbeak; red eyes; willow shanks and toes. Standard silver duckwing plumage.

White. Yellow beak, shanks, and toes; red eyes. Standard white plumage.

Place of Origin
Chile

Conservation Status
Study

Special Qualities
Lays blue to bluish green eggs. Has a lethal allele combination; some chicks die during incubation.
The Araucana was first admitted to the American Poultry Association (APA) in 1976.



Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Several Different Breeds of BANTAM CHICKENS


A bantam rooster (breed unknown)
A bantam rooster (breed unknown)
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
To better understand the numerous types and kinds of bantam chickens, we need to understand the actual definition of the word. When used in relation to fowl or chickens, Bantam is used for any extremely small fowl. The way most people have understood this rating is my understanding that for most of the regular breeds of chickens there are some bantam counterparts. These are most often one-fourth to one-fifth the size of the standard chickens, thus earning them the addition of miniature or bantam to their original name.

When taking into consideration the original namesake of bantam, this chicken or fowl has no standard counterpart. The most popular and commonly known bantam chickens are the Dutch bantam, the Sebright bantam, the Japanese bantam and the Dutch bantam. Due in part to their size and ease of care, bantams have rapidly risen to the top of the list as pets used primarily for shows or competitions. Because of their size, they require far less food, space, and maintenance resulting in their previously mentioned status as preferred pets.

Some of the most widely known breeds of bantam chickens are the Cochin, Japanese Bantams, common Bantam, Barnevelder, Old English Game, Polish chicken, D'Uccle, Pekin, Serama and the Sussex bantams. The following are brief descriptions of them:

The Cochin bantam is one of the largest breeds of bantams with the male known for weighing in at a surprising 5 Kg. (11 pounds). This particular bantam breed was introduced in China as the Chinese Shanghai and later exported to America and Britain. Another Bantam breed closely related and developed from this breed is the Pekin bantam.

Japanese bantams most commonly referred to as Chao, are literally spread worldwide. These chickens are mostly used in shows and as pets.

Barnevelder bantam is among the most popular breed of chickens for shows, carcass, and egg production. Producing rich brown eggs is their speciality and they are natural foragers on top of being a medium heavy breed which makes them excellent for either gaming or food.

Pekin bantam female.
Pekin bantam female. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Old English Game bantams also make excellent pets for children and are a source of special shows in the United Kingdom for this specific popular breed. This bantam breed is almost opposite to its standard counterpart, the Old English Game chicken in that it lacks an aggressive nature.

The Polish chicken has primarily bred for their show abilities due to the fact their appearance is almost beautiful. Boasting such colours as pink, purple, and blue, these bantams do not sit on eggs but produce stark, white eggs.

Uccle is a town on the outskirts of Brussels, Belgium and is the namesake of the Barbu D'Uccle bantam with soft feathers. This chicken received its name from the French, translating as Bearded of Uccle.
The Pekin bantam, sporting feathers on their legs and feet combined with plumage that hangs to the ground, has often been referred to as a "walking tea-cosy". Noticeably smaller, measuring in at 20 - 30 centimetres and are well known for their mothering instincts.

The Serama bantam breed of chickens is basically still in production. Although they are currently ranked as the smallest chickens in the world, their breed has not been bred true as of yet, meaning breeding them could result in any colour, shape, size, etc.

The Sussex bantam is one-quarter the size of its standard counterpart, better known as the most common of backyard chickens in different countries around the world.



Friday, November 10, 2017

Essential Vitamins to Enhance POULTRY PRODUCTION

Chickens being transported in trucks, presumab...
Chickens being transported in trucks, presumably for slaughter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The principal aim of poultry growers is for their chickens along with other fowls to remain healthy so these may be offered at the optimum price and make utmost revenues. One of the complications you may well experience close to poultry increasing includes the shortage of poultry vitamins and minerals. Poultry demands practically all types of nutritional vitamins other than vitamin C. Some dissolve in fat whilst other individuals in liquid.

Worth of Dietary supplements
Poultry farming has grown to be demanding because of the fees of feeds, raw elements, as well as other supplies, continue on to go up. Even with these developments, it's not necessarily highly recommended to reduce vitamin nutritional supplements from the midst of threats coming from illnesses plaguing your chickens. Dietary supplements are great for hens and bolster the immune devices of poultry are stalked by ailments or have just absent by means of vaccination. Moreover, micronutrients are essential for energy synthesis and boost the electricity of weak birds.

Vitamins B, D3 and E will help chicks and hens improve their resistance to ailments and boost appetite especially for the duration of stressful situations. Enough offer of poultry minerals and vitamins is crucial to poultry nourishment. Other nutritional vitamins obligatory for max poultry wellbeing consist of excess fat soluble nutritional vitamins similar to a, D, E and K. On the other hand, natural vitamins that dissolve in drinking water are vitamin B. The ingestion of such nutrients in ample quantities can increase the well being of the poultry.

Suggested Vitamins and Minerals
Legit suppliers will certainly endorse excellent items to suit your needs to include the Avian Tremendous Pack which boasts of nutritional vitamins A, D3, E, B12, Ascorbic Acid, Riboflavin, Niacin, Biotin and similarly beneficial. This has actually been described as one of several very best natural vitamins currently being marketed out there. You can also try out the pure cod liver oil which benefits up to the fowls' urge for food and aids put together birds for breeding. The GQF Natural vitamins, In addition, include vitamins and minerals, natural and organic acids in addition to live and natural- micro-organisms to complement acid manufacturing that happens to be normally lacking between chicks. These poultry minerals and vitamins are relevant when birds are fatigued or soon after applying wormers and antibiotics.


Diet for Chicks
The Gro-Gel furthermore B ensures speedy nourishment for chicks which have just been hatched. On the other hand, the Poultry Nutri-Drench also enhances the immune technique and beefs up vitamin lack. It enhances antibiotic response and alleviates heat and pressure caused by shipping. A single gallon of Recovery translates to your supplemental supply of iron, cobalt, and zinc. A lot of poultry raisers have previously offered their approval of this particular dietary supplement.

This will help poultry recuperate from pressure due to transport, intense climatic conditions, vaccination, and diarrhea. Just combine just one teaspoon of this health supplement in 4-gallon water. Ultimately, the Pink Mobile liquid vitamin and iron mineral nutritional supplement promotes excellent feathering and will get your hen in peak problem for breeding and display. With each other with all the Vionate Powder feeds, claimed poultry minerals and vitamins may help avoid crooked toes along with other leg difficulties. The stabilizer consists of 21 essential minerals and vitamins needed for protecting nutritious breeders and enhancing the development of chicks.




Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Important POULTRY Diseases

Left - normal chicken eye. Right - Eye of a ch...
Left - normal chicken eye. Right - Eye of a chicken with Marek's disease (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Poultry farming is a method that involves breading and rearing of chickens, ducks, turkeys, and other such birds with a purpose of obtaining eggs and meat for food. Poultry is considered an important source of the animal protein throughout the globe and is considered the most intensive species for rearing. There are a number of ways in which there is a big use of poultry products like butter, bread, bakery items, and other recipes.

The poultry industry is known to be a major contributor of food and plays a significant role in the economy of any country. Poultry rising in different parts of the world has proven it a profitable enterprise as it is considered a best and vital source of palatable, nutritious, and cheap food protein. In different parts of the world, there are hen birds that are maintained in the backyard of houses on small-scale in small villages. A very little investment is needed in terms of material and money for this backyard poultry farming.

Some important breeds worldwide involve leghorn, buff rock, Rhodes Island red, light Sussex that is hatched successfully in different parts of the world. An average of almost 250-300 eggs is produced by lying birds per year whereas the average live weight of lying birds is usually recommended at the age of 8 weeks as 1200 grams.

Over the last few decades, the production of poultry eggs and meat has shown a positive growth in the performance of livestock sector. Poultry farming is considered one of the most profitable and promising sources of extra income.

Rearing and breeding poultry is a tough job as there is an increased risk of diseases in poultry, both locally as well as internationally. There are different causes of poultry diseases but there are two main categories of the direct cause that include infectious and the non-infectious. Some non-infectious condition may cause reduced immune responses; secondly, this non-infectious condition may result in increased contact with different infectious organisms that can lead to an increased cause of infectious diseases.
Comparative to the production of modern poultry, the poultry production that is village based is usually characterized by different disease ranges that occur at same time. There is some free-range poultry that has subclinical infections with an increasing number of ectoparasites and endoparasites. Backyard poultry results in low productivity and the major cause of this is high mortality that is due to the diseases, mismanagement, lack of nutritional predators, and feeding. In this backyard system, the rate of mortality has been estimated about 80-90% within one year of hatching.



In many flocks of family poultry, poultry disease is an important and increasing problem. Diagnosing, treating, and preventing poultry disease are considered essential to any of the attempt at raising the productivity.

In the commercial production system, broilers are vaccinated routinely against different diseases like Avian Influenza, Infectious bronchitis, Marek's Disease, Newcastle Disease, and many others that depend on some specific recommendations and situations in each country. There are a number of poultry diseases so they are divided into five major categories that include poultry diseases caused by fungal infections including Aspergilloses, Ochratoxicosis, Fusariotoxicosis, aflatoxicosis; virus such as Fowl Pox, Avian Flu; bacteria like Escherichia coli, Pasteurella multocida, Mycobacterium avium; parasites like Coccidiosis, Haemoparasites; and those are caused by nutritional deficiency like the food that may be deficient in vitamins and minerals. There are also problems that involve poultry diseases caused by the stress, poor management, and housing. To avoid different poultry diseases it is recommended to have a regular examination of your chickens to avoid any type of serious and fatal disease.



Monday, October 16, 2017

How to Build a CHICKEN COOP - 6 Crucial Elements on Building a CHICKEN HOUSE

A chicken coop.
An old chicken coop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When building a chicken coop, it is suggested that you follow the guidelines below for a successful endeavor.

Element #1. - Appearance and Design:
Sketch out your design on a sheet of paper before you do anything else. Think of the colors you will paint the roof and chicken coop walls. Always keep in mind that if your chicken coop is clearly visible to your neighbors, (unless you live in a farm it will most likely be visible to your entire neighborhood,) it shouldn't ever serve as a distraction or defacement of its utmost surroundings. So make sure to design an aesthetically looking chicken coop so that your neighbors do not complain of its detracting appearance. Once finished, always remember to remove and dispose of any types of garbage or weeds from around your chicken coop. Try to maintain an appealing landscape around it to enhance its overall appearance.

Element #2. - Using Sound Judgment:
When designing your chicken coop structure, you must use sound judgment in almost every aspect of the way.
For instance, you want to use building materials in which the cleaning and disinfecting procedures will be quick and easy. The doors you install should open inwards, not outwards. You don't want your chickens roosting on your windows, so it is best to install sliding windows.
A question many people ask is how to build a chicken coop who's floors are easy to hose and spray down without much puddling? Well, the secret to that is to slightly slope the flooring toward the door. This way, when you spray out the chicken coop, the water will flow out, hence solving your puddling problem.

Element # 3. - Protection from Hazardous Elements:
So you want to learn how to build a chicken coop with maximum protection?

Then listen up.
As you may know, a well-built chicken coop will protect your chickens from hazardous elements such as bad weather (heavy rain, wind, hail, snow, cold climates, etc,) but they will also protect them from hungry predators, theft, and injury.
So how do we accomplish that?
Easy. You want to build a draft-free chicken house with windows and doors that can be opened and closed as needed. Make sure the windows and doors both have proper screening systems installed in them such as a heavy gauge mesh wire. Building the chicken coop on a high yet well-drained area with ensuring the least amount of dampness of the coop. Be sure to build your chicken coop in an area that faces the sun which will help warm and dry the soil and coop itself after it rains.
To protect your chickens from predators, the best thing to do is to bury your outside runs with chicken wire all around the coop about 1 foot deep. This will prevent some very hungry predators such as raccoons, cats and even dogs from digging underneath it.




Strategy # 4. - Coop Ventilation:
You may be wondering how to build a chicken coop that will not only keep your chickens locked up and protected from bad weather and predators yet receive the proper ventilation it requires. If so, then you already understand the importance of draft-free air movement from within the coop. Chickens, much like humans, need fresh air and oxygen. The same goes for the removal of unwanted excessive moisture and carbon dioxide. A chicken coop with ample air movement and proper ventilation will help remove the ammonia build up and dampness that may grow inside its walls.
Speaking of walls, the chicken coop walls should have proper insulation installed which will help keep the chickens dry. As long as chickens are dry, they can handle cold climates very well, but humidity plus cold weather will cause health issues for your poultry. Therefore, insulated walls are a must!

Strategy # 5. - Light Source:
If you want a good source of light and warmth for your chickens during the cold months of the year and a solid source of ventilation during the hot months, then be sure to install the chicken coop windows facing the south side where they will receive direct sunlight throughout the day.
On another note, if your goal is to raise chickens that will produce great eggs all year round, then you should look into an electrical source of light. You should be able to easily install an electrical light at the height of the chicken coop's ceiling which will help keep your chickens warm and help them lay better chicken eggs throughout the year. One ceiling light should be enough for a small scale chicken coop, for larger chicken coops though, try to install one electrical ceiling light per every 30 - 40 feet.

Strategy # 6. - Conveniently placed Waters and Chicken Feeders:
Chicken feeders and waterers should be placed where your flock will have easy access to them. However, you have to be careful where you place them because chickens like to make a mess of everything they eat due to their chicken scratching instincts. I'm sure you don't want to see your chicken feed mix all over the coop floors so, to avoid this, place the chicken feeders at the height of the chicken's back. This way they will have to stretch their necks up to eat but won't reach the feeders with their feet. Same goes for the waterers. Just make sure to keep the waterers full of fresh clean water throughout the day.


There you have it, folks. 6 quick and easy strategies that will show you how to build a chicken coop fast and efficiently. Whether you're building a large scale chicken coop or a small one, these tips should get you moving in the right direction.

Folks, did you know that the average American spends about $300 to build a chicken coop? Some even invest over 2 months of work trying to assemble the darn structure and in the end aren't even fully contempt with their product. Not very enticing is it? A great chicken coop plan can cut your time and efforts in half while saving you a vast amount money on building materials. To learn how to build a chicken coop with maximum benefits for your flock without investing a magnitude of your time and money, click here: how to build a chicken coop.

    Dale Higgins has been raising chickens and poultry for over 20 years and is an expert in building chicken coops.  - Article Source: EzineArticles


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Selecting a Breed of CHICKEN

The Belgian d'Everberg is a Belgian breed of b...
The Belgian d'Everberg is a Belgian breed of bantam chicken. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
They're Not Just Chickens
Chickens come in all shapes, color, sizes... and purposes. Did you know that selecting the type of chicken to raise in your backyard depends on what you want to get from them? There are basically three groups of chickens to select from according to purpose: the egg-laying variety, the meat-producers, and the dual purpose type. Each of these groups of chickens is bred according to a specific use. It is important to first determine what kind of product you want to get from your chickens and raise the variety that can best give you what you need.

A working knowledge about chicken breeds is going to be very helpful in for the beginner. A visit to a chicken raiser in your area to ask him about the different breeds, as well as their specific characteristics, will really pay off. Most of those who are raising chickens will be very happy to help beginners start their flock. If there is no one raising chickens in your area, there is a lot of information which you can get from your local library or the internet. In fact, if you read through this article you are going to get useful information about the different types of chickens and other chicken data such as the breeds of chicken for eggs and the best chickens for meat as you begin your foray into backyard poultry raising.

Sunny Side Up, Please: Breeds of chickens for eggs
If you can't live without your sunny side up for breakfast, then you'll want to get chickens of the egg-laying variety. The best breeds of chicken for eggs include the White Leghorns, Golden Comets, and Red Sex Links. White Leghorns are prolific producers of white eggs. White Leghorns can give you around 270- 290 eggs per year- that's the number of eggs per chicken or how many eggs a single White Leghorn hen can give! The Golden Comets and Red Sex Links are also excellent layers. They produce brown eggs.




Here's a little trivia: Did you know that the color of the eggs that a chicken will produce can be determined by the color of its earlobes? A chicken with red earlobes will produce brown eggs and those with white earlobes will lay white eggs. Although there is no significant difference between these two kinds of eggs in terms of nutritional value, the brown eggs are generally larger than white eggs. The best egg layers come either small to medium size. Thus, they are only good for egg production but they are not the best to breed for meat.

I Want My Buffalo Wings, Baby: Best chickens for meat
Buffalo wings never fail to excite the taste buds and if you want this for lunch any time of the week, then you should be raising the meat producers. The best chickens for meat include such breeds as the Rhode Island Red, the Langshan, the Dorking and the Cornish. Most of the commercial breeders use these basic breeds to produce meat for large-scale commercial sale. These birds weigh from 8 to 10 pounds and are very docile. The meat variety is often a cross or blends of these large breeds. Aside from being able to easily adapt to open spaces as well as small coops and pens, these types of chickens also grow very fast. The Cornish, for instance, can reach 4 to 5 pounds in 6 weeks and 8 to10 pounds in 12 weeks. This makes it a very good foundation for other meat breeds.

The Best of Both Worlds: Chickens for Eggs and Meat
If you want the best of both worlds, there are chickens that produce both eggs and meat. These types of chickens are best represented by American breeds such as the Plymouth Rocks, Sussex, and the Wyandottes. Known as the dual purpose type, these chickens lay eggs reasonably well and are large enough for meat production. These varieties come in different colors and are generally docile. They have a generally tame temperament. Rhode Island Reds are known as one of the best breeds of chickens for eggs and meat production.


Feed Requirements
A lot of people shy away from raising chickens in their backyard because they mistakenly think that feeding them is hard work. However, feeding chickens in your backyard need not be complicated. This task can even be made simpler if you decide to free-range your chickens since all you need to do is to give them supplemental feeds like grains or the commercially-prepared chicken feeds. Free-ranged chickens will normally scratch their food around.

However, if you are confining your chickens in small coops or stalls then you have to make sure that you give them a well-balanced diet. There is a wide array of commercial feeds in your local poultry shop that you can choose from. These pre-packed feeds are usually a mixture of different grains and crumbles.

Just remember 3G's in feeding penned chickens: grains, grass and grit and you will surely do well. Vitamin supplements from time to time will help your cooped chickens get the essential nutrients that they would have gotten from bugs and other insects had they been ranged. Grit is also very important for them in digesting their food since these serve as their teeth. Chickens that are free-ranged will just fine grit in the ground but this needs to be given to cooped chickens on a regular basis.

Don't forget to give them fresh and clean water. Whether free-range or penned, chickens should always have a regular supply of clean water. Water needs to be changed and containers cleaned regularly. Pathogens that can cause different diseases in your chickens thrive well in dirty water containers.

Climate
Most of the chicken breeds are very adaptive to different climates. It cannot be denied, however, that changes in environmental temperature like sudden rain and season changes can be very stressful for them. And just like humans, their bodies will be prone to infection when they are under severe stress. There is nothing you can do about the climate in your area but you certainly can minimize its bad effects to your chickens by providing them with proper housing. You can help your chickens cope during the rainy season by building covered coops or putting up roofs above their pens. In areas where the temperature gets scorching during the summer, a roof or plants can give your chickens a comfortable hideout just in case the sun gets too punishing. And again, regardless of the climate, clean water should always be within your chicken's reach. Water helps them regulate environmental temperature.

A Final Word
If you are serious about raising chickens in your backyard, determine what you want to raise them for and get the type of chicken breed that best fits your purpose. This will result in a very rewarding experience raising your backyard flock.

    I am just a man who loves to walk into my backyard and grab some breakfast. About a year ago, I took the leap and began raising chickens. I started this site to share the joy of keeping chickens. I work 55-60 hours per week, so the progress is slow.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Raising CHICKENS 101: Introducing the New Birds on the Block

To raise chickens, there are procedures and adaptations to attend to. One very good instance is introducing a group of “new” birds to a flock of old birds. It’s like managing to merge two restaurants when one is Italian and the other is Chinese. Stress will come along. And that is not an assumption but a fact. 

Free range chickens seek shade in their simple...
Free range chickens seek shade in their simple coop.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many poultry owners who think that they’re ready to expand their chicken farm make certain measures of importing birds that came or was purchased from the outside, while others take their time and wait for hens to hatch their eggs. Adding new breeds into your peaceful and comfortable neighborhood of chickens can put a quite a rumble between the old and the new.

Admit it, nobody likes newcomers. And adding these newcomers into a flock of hens or roosters that already have certain territories inside their coop can be a big mess. The newcomers will try to take their place too, and the oldies will try their best to protect their area.

Fret not, for this kind of attitude and feud lasts for only a couple of days. Adaptation can now take place. You can’t avoid this kind of predicament from rising but you can do certain adjustments that can make all of you happy and stress-free.

There are numerous peace-making strategies to help both parties adjust with each other. Isn’t it nice to see your new and old birds in one space without having to stop them from pecking one another?

One very good strategy is to let them see each other without having any physical contact. How? If you have a run (which is basically attached to the coop), you could put your old chickens there and then put a border (chicken wire) between the run and the coop. Put your new chickens inside the coop. This way, they are able to see each other minus the harm. Be sure that both parties have access to sufficient food and water. You can do this for about a week.

As transition day comes, that will be a week after the slight introduction, you can now “join” them in one area. You can transfer the newcomers to the resident flock’s territory during the night when all the birds are sleeping. Upon waking up, the old chickens will notice the new ones and they will, at any point, try to start a fight but will not because they are too groggy to initiate it. Not a strategy that has been proven effective but it’s worth the trying.

Distraction techniques are always effective in some way. This can alleviate tactics of war coming from the resident chickens. If you don’t do this, the old hens will chase the newcomers till all their feathers come off. That would be devastating.



Some of the distracting techniques are:

a. Cabbage heads can do the trick. By hanging a piece of whole cabbage just above their head, chickens will reach it until everything is finished. That is if they don’t get exhausted by jumping to it and reaching it.

b. Make the pursuit an obstacle for the pursuing party. Add large branches inside the run and coop.

c. Let them run around at a wider and freer range. The oldies will be so thrilled to dig for grubs and insects they wouldn’t even notice that there are newcomers roaming around.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Different Types of CHICKENS

While there are dozens of different types of chickens, selecting one to be a part of your flock can be challenging. First you'll want to consider the role of the chicken meaning, is it a pet, will it be bred for meat or an egg producer? There are lots of choices to make when selecting the right type of chicken.

English: A Naked Neck rooster and a rather ner...
A Naked Neck rooster
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Egg laying chickens come in a variety of breeds and their egg production will vary. The top egg laying chickens that produce white eggs are Ancona, Andalusian, Catalina, Hamburg, Holland, Lakenvelder, Leghorn, Minorca, and Redcap. Each chicken will have their own disposition as well from nervous to the wild, noisy or shy.

There are also chickens that lay brown eggs and they include Australorp, Java, Naked Neck Turkin, Plymouth Rock, Delaware, Dominique, Rhode Island, Sussex, and Wyandotte. Many of these chickens have good dispositions and are relatively mild mannered and good producers.

English: Australorp Chicken. Fran├žais : Poule ...
Australorp Chicken
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you're interested in growing chickens for meat, you want to look for breeds that are able to gain weight within the first 4 months of life. The disposition of these types of chickens is less important than egg layers because they aren't expected to live for long. Meat producing breeds consist of Cornish and Cornish Cross.

Some hens of specific breeds can both be used as egg producers but also provide a good source of meat. These types of birds may be ideal. An example of these types of chickens includes Brahma, Buckeye, Catalina, Araucana, Australorp, Barnevelder, and many others already mentioned above.

Birds like the Cochin, Phoenix, and Showgirls are perhaps a bit more attractive than those chickens bred purely as a food source but whatever type of chicken you decide you'd like to breed or raise, it's good to do a little research based on your ultimate goals.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

RAISING CHICKENS: Pros and Cons

There are so many reasons why someone would want or wouldn’t want a chicken in their backyard. There are debates about it and here are some:

white chicken
White Chicken (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pros

1. Costs incredibly cheap.

When we say cheap, not only does the chicken itself count but also the maintenance of it all. Compared to keeping a dog or a cat for a pet, it is much cheaper to take care of a number of chickens most likely because they are not choosy when it comes to food. You can feed them scraps and table leftovers and they will happily gobble it up. With as little as $2 a day, you can spend on a bunch of layer mash.

2. You can get something from them.

Eggs. Meat. Ornament. Who wouldn’t want it? In terms of eggs, it is seldom that you encounter a chicken that can’t lay eggs. It is a good source of iron, which is good for the brain. You could either sell these eggs or keep them in your fridge. With meat, every part of a chicken can be eaten. Yes, every. In cases of those who don’t want to see their chickens go bye-bye, they raise them as pets and for exhibition purposes.

3. Low maintenance.

Unlike dogs who need everyday grooming and cats who need your undivided attention, chickens need none of those. You don’t have to bring them to your vet every once in a while to take shots and doses of vaccines. All you have to do is feed them and supply clean water every day. Their coops must be cleaned at least once a week or twice every month depending on the number of chickens that you own.

4. Fertilizers for free and an instant pest control agent.

These are the two things that chicken raisers love about owning a chicken. When you allow your chickens to roam around your backyard, it is in their nature to peck on whatever it is that catches their interest and their hunger. Chickens love anything that came from the ground most especially the ones that are moving. They eat insects, bugs, worms and the like. For them, these are special treats. Furthermore, it is in their nature to eradicate their internal wastes anywhere they please. But their poops are considered as natural fertilizers that the ground needs to grow plants and root crops in a healthy state.



Cons

1. They are not the best guard pets to have.

While chickens can coo and make familiar sounds, it is not in their nature to bite or coo on anyone they see who looks suspicious. All they can do is grow, eat, and lay eggs. They are also not the ideal pets you would want to have especially if you need a response like waggling of the tail or a purring sound.

2. Chickens are messy.

Indeed. Plus, their poop smells terrible that it can reach certain areas in your house. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to go through enduring hours of cleaning, chickens aren’t really the pets for you.

3. One for all, all for one.

Well, in terms of getting sick this is a con. Because when one catches flu, everyone gets it too. And if one dies because of that flu, it is expected that every single chicken living with that infected chicken who also got that flu is also going to die after a few days.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How To Keep CHICKENS - The Really, Really Important Stuff

You say you want to raise chickens? Well, good for you. More and more people are now raising chickens - even in their backyards - and for good reason. Chickens lay eggs, they make swell pets and, of course, you can eat them. However, if you have kids and treat your chickens as pets that might not be the best idea in the world.

Chickens
Photo  by Brett Jordan 
The really important stuff
The good news is that chickens are pretty hardy creatures and will eat practically anything, even including stuff we might not recognize as food. They are both carnivores and vegetarians. They'll forage and the food they eat may be even more nutritious than what you would feed them. They will eat bugs, ants, insects, fruit, bread, roaches, seeds, vegetables, leaves, leftovers that have been hiding in your refrigerator, and grass - in other words just about everything that doesn't include pebbles or coarse sand. They even love Italian and Chinese dishes.


They need a place to hang around
Chickens aren't very particular about where they live, either. All they really need is a place to roost and lay eggs that are safe from the elements and their natural enemies. Chickens are very sociable. They love to have another chicken for a company that they can huddle with from time to time, especially on rainy days and in the cold seasons. However, they are not always peace-loving. Chickens can get cranky and become irritated even at little things. When they do, you can forget about sociability. They'll pick a companion and if that companion does not pay an adequate amount of attention fast enough they might actually pick it to death.

Chicken coops
Most people who keep chickens in their backyards build or buy coops to keep them safe. A good chicken coop must have adequate ventilation, waste management, and an ample amount of space and good light. Chicken droppings contain ammonia and create dampness within the coop so your coop must allow for proper ventilation to make sure the air inside can circulate properly. You will need to allow 3 to 4 square feet of space for each of your chickens. This gives the chicken enough room to sort of mill about and will keep them more productive. As I mentioned in an earlier paragraph, chickens are very social. They like to have other chickens around them and when they are at their best behavior, they'll huddle together, scratch together and stay put when not feeding. It's also important that your coop provide an adequate amount of light. But all in all, chickens will be very happy if they have a clean place to a coop, good ventilation, an ample amount of space and clean and steady feed.

Speaking of feed
There are two types of feed for chickens when they are in their pens. The first and most important is corn mixed with other seeds. The second is pellets. Pellets come in three flavors. They are crumbled pellet, pellets and what's called layers mash. While these three variations have similar compositions, they are named differently to identify the grade of the milling. For example, layers mash is crushed to almost a powdery consistency to make it easier for chicks to digest. In comparison, crumble pellets are milled to a rough consistency and are good for young chickens. And regular pellets are best for full-grown chickens. Chickens can get along very well with one measure of pellets and one measure of mixed corn. You can throw in other food because they'll probably eat it too and if they do, don't worry. It's okay.

True grit
Chickens will also eat grit, too. They need it for their digestion. If you don't give them grit, they'll soon be pecking at pebbles. To prevent that, you can either purchase grit from a farm supply store or make it yourself. This is very easy - all you have to do is roast eggshells in your oven till they turn brown, pound them until they're not too powdery and mix the resulting grit with their regular feed.

Keeping your chicken safe
One of the biggest problems with keeping chickens is keeping them safe. If you're typical, you like to eat chicken and so do a lot of predators. To protect your chickens, you will need to have a sturdy coop that's free from gaps and holes. If your chicken house or coop has flooring made from slats, you will need to install wire fencing underneath to prevent predators from getting in that way. You will also need to cover any weak posts with wire to keep predators from biting through them. And most important of all, make sure you lock up the chicken hutch when the chickens are in their coops.

To discourage predators
The first step in discouraging predators is to find which ones live in your area. Different predators use different methods to get at your chickens so you need to know which ones are most likely to want to get in your coop. You can discuss this with animal control or other local authorities in your area. A really good investment is an electric chicken fence. You can also discourage predators by removing places and clearing spaces where they could hide. And finally, if you have dogs around, this will definitely discourage predators from getting near your chicken coop.


Chickens in the city
If you live in a city and want to keep chickens in your backyard, the first thing you need to do is check local ordinances. Many cities permit a certain number of chickens while others do not allow chickens at all. If yours is one that does permit chickens, you will need to decide which breed you want. Bantam chicken breeds are good as they are about one quarter the size of a regular chicken. In fact, a bantam chicken is a kind of like a toy dog breed. Other breeds that are good for pets are the Barred Plymouth Rock and the Road Island Red as they are usually very mild-mannered. If you would like a bantam chicken that lays well, you could choose a Cochin. The Bluff Orbington is a larger breed of Bantam that is also very friendly. These are just a few of the good breeds; you can find much more by surfing the Internet.

What are you waiting for?
If you're fortunate enough to live in an area that does permit chickens, what are you waiting for? They're fun, make good pets are low maintenance and will provide a steady supply of good, healthy and truly organic eggs.

    I've tried to cover the really, really important stuff about raising chickens in this article. 
    Article Source: EzineArticles